Questions about Certificate of Insurance Forms?

myCOI brings certificate of insurance compliance management to a whole new level. We protect your company against the risk of underinsured claims, costly litigation and failed audits.

Protect Your Business From Costly Claims

Ask your CFO or Risk Manager just how much claims and lawsuits can cost your business. If you are collecting certificates just to confirm they were received, you have no guarantee that your requirements are being met. myCOI Central is built on a foundation of insurance industry logic to ensure you remain protected with the appropriate coverage.

Automate Your COI Tracking

There’s no more need to worry about stacks of certificates cluttering up your office or hours of frustrating phone calls and emails to chase down certificates. myCOI Central provides your company with a solution to automate your insurance certificate requests, collection, and compliance resolution, while also giving your team a single, centralized repository to view compliance. 

For Agents & Brokers

Win business and boost retention by providing agency branded, industry leading insurance tracking software to your insureds.  Offer software only or add on your own compliance review services.

"As a result of switching providers and partnering with myCOI, myself and our 11 Contract Administrators are spending about 1 hour of our time each week on insurance compliance versus 1 hour each day."
Victoria Pearson
Contract Administrator Manager
Alston Construction

Certificate Of Insurance Form

The certificate of insurance form (COI) might be one of the most critical items in a company’s risk management portfolio. It’s a simple form, but it carries a lot of weight. If you receive a certificate of insurance for business protection, for example if you hire subcontractors and need those subcontractors to carry the insurance risk they generate through the course of their business, a COI is probably the mechanism by which you confirm that subcontractor is in fact carrying that protection.

Anyone can find a certificate of insurance online. There are easily available PDFs anyone can fill out, and plenty of examples to show them what should go in each box. This small chance for fraud, limited as it may be, is just one of the reasons that companies like myCOI help companies just like yours track and verify the certificates of insurance that you receive.

Whether you’re a certificate holder who receives COIs or a named insured who provides them (we’ll explain those terms below!), knowing the ins and outs of a COI form is key. Let’s take a look.

What Is A Certificate Of Insurance For Vendors

If you’re a contractor or business asking which vendors need a certificate of insurance, the answer is pretty simple: any vendor that enters your business premises and takes any actions that may generate any risk at all needs to give you a certificate of insurance.

That sounds pretty vague, we know, but it’s a simple reality. Risk exists all around us, whether we generate it or not, and the last thing you want to do is assume the burden of risk your vendor opened you to because you failed to secure a certificate of insurance.

Now you may ask “what is a certificate of insurance for vendors?” and the answer is, the same thing you provide to other entities that you do work on behalf of. It should show the vendor’s coverage, any limitations or exclusions, and all the usual information. 

Knowing how to request a certificate of insurance from a vendor likely comes down to how your business works with vendors. In many cases, COIs with the required coverages are required as part of the vendor application process or were specified in the RFP, or in an agreement or contract. If not, it’s often a requirement before the vendor can begin working.

If you deal with a lot of vendors, you can often save a lot of time by having a sample letter requesting certificates of insurance from vendors on hand.

Certificate Of Insurance Form Sample

If you’re a contractor or a vendor, a certificate of insurance ACORD form is only one of the many types of insurance forms you might be sharing with someone else, though. In general, then, it is helpful to see a certificate of insurance form sample. 

At its most basic, this certificate has all the relevant information regarding your insurance policy. There is a lot of information that could be included on this form. For example, this form might have information on when the policy comes into play, its duration, who owns the policy, what the limit on the policy is, and who you need to contact if you need to file a claim.

If you are looking for a sample certificate of insurance with additional insured, though, then you might be looking for a slightly different document. This certificate includes added endorsements in very specific situations. If you need a certificate of insurance with additional insured, you need to reach out to the insurance agent or broker to make sure you have this type of coverage.

If you’re looking for a certificate holder insurance form, well, stop looking. That’s not a thing. A certificate holder is the entity that receives the certificate of insurance from a contractor, vendor, or other provider. If you receive certificates, that’s you. If you provide them to companies that hire you, that’s the company hiring you.

Remember that a certificate of insurance sample is just that: a sample. Not an example, and certainly not proof of coverage.

What Is An Acord 25

Let’s pretend that you’re browsing a list of ACORD forms. Maybe you’re compiling a list of ACORD form samples for a training program. You’re going to find a lot of forms. Like, a lot. That’s because ACORD—The Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development—is one of the premier sources of standardized forms in the insurance industry.

Perhaps the most common form people know ACORD for is the ACORD 25, the general liability insurance certificate form. A sample ACORD 25 form is often one of the first forms beginning insurance agents learn to issue certificates with. “What is an ACORD 25,” you may ask? Let’s take a quick look.

An ACORD 25 sample PDF will show you that it contains quite a bit of potential information about the insurance coverage of the named insured on the day the certificate was issued, including liability and auto coverages, beginning and expiration dates, and contact information of the insuring party, as well as a lot more. If you need more clarity about this form, or any ACORD certificate of insurance sample, you can review the instructions that ACORD provides for each of its forms.

Unless you need a specialized form, most companies dealing with certificates of insurance find the ACORD 25 meets most of their needs.

How To Verify A Certificate Of Insurance

Certificate of insurance compliance is the work a risk manager or compliance admin does to collect, verify and maintain the certificates of insurance provided to that company by its third parties: they are the experts who know how to verify a certificate of insurance.

Each certificate of insurance has to be checked, first and foremost to ensure that it claims all the necessary coverages, amounts, limits, and exclusions that your company requires of its contractors. Sure, there is general liability insurance mentioned, but does it protect to the same amount that you require?

Also, what assurances do you have that the contractor didn’t let the policy lapse the day after they handed you the COI? Are you verifying with insurance agents that these contractors still hold the policies and protections that their COI claims? Are there exclusions to the contractor’s protection that will mean you’re held responsible for risk that should properly rest with the contractor?

Remember that there are varied certificates of insurance requirements by state, and you need to be aware of them. Certificate of insurance best practices in every case remind you to check your state requirements, and we’d be remiss if we didn’t do the same.

Sample Certificate Of Insurance With Additional Insured

IRMI—the International Risk Management Institute—defines an additional insured as “a person or organization not automatically included as an insured under an insurance policy who is included or added as an insured under the policy at the request of the named insured.” That translates quite often as “I need to extend the coverage I purchase from my insurer to the third-party hiring me to do some work.” 

A sample of additional insured endorsements is relatively easy to find online, wherever you look for certificate of insurance templates. A quick search will turn up a plethora of certificate of insurance additional insured samples. What you’re going to see is a standard certificate of insurance, but with the addition of the additional insured. Be careful that you don’t mistake a sample certificate of insurance with additional insured for an example of the kind of coverage you need to secure for your business; that’s a conversation you need to have with your agent or broker, not something you get from a PDF. 

If you’re on the other side of this conversation, as a business requesting additional insured status on the certificates of insurance you collect from your third parties, you already know the necessity of such endorsements. Transferring additional risk incurred by your third parties back to those third parties is a critical part of risk management, and few companies can afford to carry the risk of damaging claims on their own books.

Many companies that use a sample letter requesting certificate of insurance from vendors often have special versions of that letter that lay out the requirement for additional insured endorsements. It would include the specific endorsements sought, provide a list of limitations that your company will not accept, or other insurance-related notes like that. Risk management teams often have custom letters for different industries or verticals.

How To Get Insurance Certificate Online

Answering the question of how to get insurance certificate online depends entirely on who you are and what your role is in this certificate of insurance process, because it affects both sourcing and propriety. 

Let’s imagine first that you’re a contractor, vendor, or other third-party who is being asked to provide a certificate of insurance before you can begin work. In this case, you want to start with your insurance agent or broker’s website. Many providers offer forms that allow you to request the correct certificate without having to make an appointment or make a phone call. 

What you should not do, though, is start wondering how to get ACORD insurance certificates online yourself, so you can fill them out without your agent. Don’t do that. Never do that. Let your insurance agent or broker do that. It’s their job, they’re the experts. 

If you’re a certificate holder (the person or entity who receives certificates of insurance) and you need to request updated certificates, you can also start at the insurer’s website, if you know which agent to check out. This can happen in some instances when a certificate holder needs a new or updated certificate because of discrepancies or questions.

Lastly, if you’re an insurer looking for form templates, or even sitting at your computer asking “how do I fill out an ACORD certificate of insurance,” check with your senior leadership or check online for resources. ACORD provides helpful instructions for agents and brokers about filling out their forms.